Rycals and The RYR-1 Foundation
As you may be aware, Rycals are a class of drugs that have shown potential benefits in treating patients with RYR-1 muscle disease. Rycals received “Orphan Drug Designation” by the FDA in August 2018.
We are proud that The RYR-1 Foundation played an important part in the advancement of Rycals.
First, in 2016, The RYR-1 Foundation awarded a research grant that evaluated the effect of Rycals on muscle biopsy samples taken from individuals with RYR-1 muscle disease. This study in the laboratory showed that Rycals reversed muscle damage and improved the muscle function in those human samples. The paper summarizing this study can be found by clicking on the image below:
In addition, this research was also the basis for the receipt of a “Bench to Bedside Award” from the NIH. The NIH grant of $150,000 helped defray costs of the human clinical trial.
The human clinical trial at NIH (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04141670) just concluded. Were it not for The RYR-1 Foundation’s advocacy, this trial may never have occurred. Specifically, in late 2018, The RYR-1 Foundation was informed that the NIH trial for Rycals was at risk of being permanently terminated due to a personnel problem at NIH. Working closely with the Rycal vendor and our contacts at NIH, we immediately initiated a phone call and letter writing campaign, ultimately soliciting the invaluable assistance of members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. It is clear that were it not for the successful advocacy efforts of The RYR-1 Foundation, this trial would not have commenced in a timely fashion.
In summary, the initial grant from The RYR-1 Foundation has led to 3 major achievements: 1) Discovery of a new potential treatment for RYR-1 myopathy; 2) Initiation of a human clinical trial; and 3) Receipt of an NIH grant.